The Iguana Issue

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Photo courtesy Michael Ronquillo

Perhaps the best part of being a pool tech is the variety of challenges — from animal to mineral to philosophical — the complete listing of which would take many volumes. One entire tome would consist of the various types of customers. A subsection might include hazards encountered driving between pools.

In the special section on pools in southern climes, especially South Florida, one finds iguanas. They are undeniably beautiful to look at, but some people would rather not see them lounging in their lounge chairs.

Our concern as pool professionals is the mess they may leave in the water. We at Humane Iguana Control, a professional iguana removal service company in Miami, Fla., have seen pool techs make multiple trips to homes and condominiums to clean out iguana feces and sanitize the water. There have even been some cases that homeowners accuse the pool techs of leaving the pools dirty after the service. But after a quick look at surveillance cameras, they can find the real culprit!

Making multiple trips to tidy up after an iguana can become time consuming and can disrupt schedules.

Ever heard of falling iguanas? This is a common event in Florida. During the winter months when temperatures drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, the cold-blooded iguanas lying on tree branches become sluggish, roll over and fall. Unfortunately, if they fall into swimming pools in this state, they may drown. And when this happens, they must be removed immediately before they contaminate the water.


Being cold-blooded reptiles in warm weather, iguanas tend to hang around swimming pools to regulate their body temperature. The problems arise when they defecate in the water. Feces of iguanas are known to carry a bacteria called salmonella which is a pathogen, and of course, their feces contain phosphates and nitrates that can throw off water balance.

Iguanas being great swimmers may find their way into skimmers and become trapped. If this occurs, the iguana can drown and decay, resulting in contamination. Sanitizing swimming pools and cleaning the filtration systems is essential after removing iguana waste.

So add this to the list of problems you may encounter and be asked to solve around a customer’s pool. Humane Iguana Control has assisted many pool service companies that deal frequently with iguana-related issues. Our team of iguana control experts implement various methods to keep iguanas away from pools to avoid water contamination and damages to pool equipment.

Michael Ronquillo is owner of Humane Iguana Control, a professional iguana removal company in Florida. See more at

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